Josie Brown

Flash Giveaway! Josie Brown's Totlandia: The Onesies

Totalandia by Josie BrownGiveaway: Two e-copies of Totlandia: The Onesies by Josie Brown The scoop: As summer sizzles in Totlandia, emotions boil over for the newest members of Pacific Heights Moms & Tots Club, whose trust in each other is sorely tempted by Bettina and her club politics.

When Jillian's vindictive joke backfires, she learns the true meaning of forgiveness.

Jade’s betrayal puts her in a dangerous downward spiral with no bottom in sight—until she finds friendship and redemption where she least expects it.

Lorna faces the biggest trial in her marriage, and makes an important decision that may end it for good.

While Ally may regret the choices made she to get accepted in the club, her exile puts new opportunities in her path, thanks to Brady and his ceaseless desire to win her over—with Barry's help, who is playing his own little game with the Top Moms Committee.

But it's Bettina who suffers the ultimate punishment—one that changes her life, and the livelihood of the club, forever.

Our thoughts: This series is so much fun!

Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winners on Sunday, December 15 after 12 PM PST.

Josie Brown's 5 BEST EVERS

Our guest today: Josie Brown Why we love her: She is one sassy lady!

Her latest: Totlandia: The Onesies

The Scoop: The Pacific Heights Moms & Tots Club is the most exclusive children’s playgroup in all of San Francisco. For the city’s ultra-competitive elite, the club’s ten annual spots are the ultimate parenting prize.

But not everyone is PHM&TC material. The club’s founder, Bettina Connaught Cross, adheres to strict membership rules: Moms only. No single parents or working mothers allowed. Membership is an arduous commitment. And there’s no room in the club for scandal, bad behavior, or imperfection…from tots or their moms.

In a world of power and prestige, no one has more than Bettina. And as every mom in Pacific Heights knows, you simply cannot cross her. But this year’s admissions process is more rigorous than ever, pitting prospective members against each other to prove their mettle.

But four of the six candidates vying for the remaining four slots have a secret that would knock them out of the running. Jade is a former stripper and porn actress, who has been absent for most of her son’s life. Jillian’s husband cleaned out their joint accounts and left her for his pregnant assistant. Ally never even had a husband—just a sperm donor—and she’s hiding a high-ranking corporate job. And Lorna fears that her son may have special needs… just the excuse her sister-in-law, Bettina, needs to deny her entry to the club.

Can these hopeful moms keep up appearances long enough to outlast the competition? Or will their chances—and their private lives—go up in flames?

Our thoughts: The perfect gift for your favorite Mom this holiday season!

Giveaway: FIVE eCopies! Leave a comment and we'll choose winners on Sunday, December 9th after 3pm.

Fun Fact: Josie's novel, Secrets Lives of Husbands and Wives, has been optioned by NBC!

Where you can read more about Josie: Her website, Facebook or Twitter.


1. BEST SONG: I’m very old school! “If I Fell” from the Beatles and “Stop in the Name of Love” from the Supremes. Both are about heartache, and so singable, right?

2. BEST BOOK: Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell. I read it thirteen times, before I reached the age of sixteen. Part of my devotion has to do with the fact that its author is from my home town of Atlanta. (FYI: as is Kathryn Stockett, who wrote The Help, and I assume will inspire new generations of writers and readers.)

The scope of this saga of unrequited love – over a generation, and through a major war – seemed to me to be the ultimate love story. Frankly, it still does. Nothing comes close!  The heroine, Scarlett O’Hara, envisions herself in love with a man who is promised to another, and never really showed her anything other than flirtatious lust. Only in the last chapter does she realize she has just lost the love of her ideal mate: Rhett Butler, who loves her, despite the tests of time, place and circumstance, which strip away all the gentility in which she was born and bred.

Again, unrequited love.

3. BEST MOVIE: Down and Out in Beverly Hills, with Richard Dreyfus, Bette Midler, and Nick Nolte.

I love the first because of its sly humor and perfect dialogue, and a great plot. An upheaval takes place in the Beverly Hills mansion of a wealthy family when  a homeless man, trying to commit suicide in their pool, is saved by the Dave Whiteman, the owner of the mansion. Despite being a giving father and successful businessman, Dave feel s he’s taken for granted by his wife, and ignored by his children: a daughter who he worries is anorexic, and a son who is in the closet. Every member of the family wants to believe that the bum from the pool has some wisdom to dispense. Not. Finding out the truth is part of the fun.

4. BEST MOMENT: When I delivered my first child: my son.  Pregnancy is an experience. Motherhood is a whole other life. It is a great journey, and a wonderful challenge, to have someone dependent on you for the first twelve years of their lives, then grow away from you, only to realize your love and faith in them won’t be matched by anyone else…until they find their soul mate.

5. BEST ADVICE: For everyone, it is to open your mind, and your heart. Those who close themselves off to new people, new places, new experiences, and of course new ideas. Life is a journey.  Enjoy every step of the way.

Thanks, Josie! xoxo, L&L

Josie Brown's 5 Things I'd Tell The Teen Me

Our guest today: Josie Brown Why we love her: She writes about seemingly perfect people and communities that turn out to be not so perfect.

Her latest eBook: The Housewife Assassin's Handbook

The dealio on it: Every housewife wants an alias. Donna Stone* has one, and it happens to be government sanctioned. Oh sure, you need to be ruthless to take on Russian mafia bosses, rogue dictators, and terrorists set on destroying the world. But it takes real killer instincts to survive suburbia. Try juggling the fifth grade phone tree during a shootout with skinhead arms dealers.

Donna’s life wasn’t always this complicated. Five years earlier she was just another woman with two preschoolers, a baby bump, and an adoring husband: Carl, with whom she lived happily ever after in a McMansion in the Orange County, California community of Hilldale. But Donna’s life was changed forever the night she delivered her baby: Carl’s car blew up on the way to the hospital.

Turns out Carl was a “hard man”—an assassin—for the black ops organization known as Acme Industries. The hit on Alex was carried out by the Quorum, a terrorist cell he was tracking. The Quorum’s motto: “Show me the money.” Governments and corporations do as they’re told—or suffer bloody consequences. To protect herself and avenge Carl’s death, Donna joined Acme. Whereas her hostessing skills rival Martha Stewart’s, her marksmanship is second to none.

A good thing, too, because the Quorum has planted a sleeper cell in Hilldale. Acme’s way of flushing out the Quorum is by “bringing Carl back from the dead.” But terrorism makes strange bedfellows--and brings new meaning to that old adage “Honey, I’m home…”

Our thoughts: Fun and sassy, just the way we like it over here!

Giveaway: We have FIVE eCopies!  Just leave a comment by Sunday May 13th at 6pm PST. And for a chance to win a $50 giftcard to the bookstore of your choice, enter The Housewife Assassin Handbook’s Mother’s Day Contest by reading an excerpt here…

Fun Fact: ABC has bought the rights to Josie's novel,  The Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives and will be developing it into a series!


1: Listen to your gut. A few years back I ran into an old boyfriend: someone I’d dated for four years, back when I was a mere twentysomething. Back then I thought he was a keeper. Obviously he had other ideas, which is why,  when I walked into his apartment unannounced and found him in bed with someone else,  I gave into the urge to ram his car in a tree.  Warp speed  a decade later: After the shock and awe of seeing each other, we warily played catch up. Of course, by then both of us were married to others, and had children.

 “You told me that you never wanted kids,” he said with a “A-ha!”  tone.

 “I don’t remember that,” was my response. Then it hit me: “In hindsight, I guess what I meant was, ‘I never want to have kids with you.’”

 Your gut tells you when things are right or wrong. He was all wrong for me. Instead I married the right man, and together we share two children who are (to paraphrase Mary Poppins) practically perfect in every way.

2: Do whatever it is that will make you feel great about yourself. Get contacts. Get vajazzled. Straighten your hair. Hell, get a Mohawk, if you want. Confidence is a priceless trait. No one is saying that looking like Lisbeth Salander is going to change your life (okay, maybe looking like her will crossing the street because they think you’re a badass) but if you look fabulous, you feel fabulous, too.

 3. Be a friend—and hang with friends. How do you know if someone is a true friend? You find that answer when the chips are down.

A good friend is someone who loves you even when you’re not at your best: when you’ve been kicked to the curb by the guy in your life, when you’re having a bad hair day, and when everyone else acts as if you’ve got cooties. Being a friend means having the guts to be the same, even when others have lost confidence in your pal.  Having one or two real friends whom you can call when life is mean or slow or awesome, is priceless. Here’s hoping you find them somewhere on your life’s journey.

4. Karma is a bitch, so don’t cross her. If you find it hard to curb the urge to slash and burn on whimsy, inevitably there will be payback. (Cue SFX of evil cackle…) And yes, it will happen when you least expect it. (Hint: Always wear clean underwear.)

5. Never give up on your dreams. Our dreams define us. They are what drive us to be our best selves. If you believe you can accomplish something, you can. I’m not trying to sound like Tony Roberts or the best fortune cookie you ever opened, but I am living proof that if you have the talent and determination to do something, no one can stand in your way.

 Well, maybe one person: YOU.

Thanks Josie! xoxo, L&L

To read more about Josie, head on over to her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Mommy Monday: Does My Baby Count As a Carry-On?

I was a hot, sweaty mess. My heart was racing. My mind was racing. I couldn't remember the last time I'd been so scared...

No, I wasn't about to give birth.

Nope, I wasn't about to walk down the aisle and commit myself to one man for the rest of my life.

And no, I wasn't about to get my first Brazilian bikini wax since the baby was born, er, three months before.

I was about to...

fly half-way across the country with my baby for the first time.

Cue dramatic music from something scary. Like Poltergeist. Or the Exorcist. Or The Nate Burkus Show.

You'd have thought I was preparing for a three-week cruise to the Caribbean the way I packed for my first four-day trip to California with the baby. The poor hubs looked like a Sherpa as he hauled our, count 'em, twelve bags and various baby gear out to the cab. (In hindsight, we should have ordered two taxis as it probably wasn't fair to make the hubs ride on the roof!)

You name it, I'd packed it- and then some...and some...and some.

Diapers? Forget the flight to Cali. I had enough to fly around the world.

Wipes? I could've wiped the ass of every baby within a two thousand square mile radius.

Spare Outfits? My daughter's suitcase could've put Suri Cruise's closet to shame.

But beyond being prepared for anything my baby could need, I was trying to be prepared for what type of traveler she would be.

What if she decided that thirty thousand miles up was the place she should have her inaugural public melt down?

Well it turns out my baby was a perfect angel. The kind that our flight mates remarked on at the end of the flight. Wow, you're lucky. Is she always so good?

But her mommy? Not so much.

Turns out, mommy was the problem. Mommy who was so frazzled going through security that she practically offered her baby up to be body searched. Mommy who got upgraded to first class and after consuming her second glass o' bubbly became obsessed with babbling baby talk at her baby.  Mommy who probably broke some unwritten rule of the friendly skies and changed her daughter's diaper in, wait for it, the seat.

But if one of us had to be annoying, better me than her, right? *wink* *wink*



PS: Leave a comment (and make me feel better about being such a "freak") and be entered to win a copy of The Baby Planner by the fabulous Josie Brown. We'll randomly select the winner after 6pm EST on Wed., June 1.







What's on Josie Brown's Bucket List?

We love Josie Brown. Plain and simple. We first fell for her when we read the impossibly delicious,  Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives and now we're falling all over again after consuming her latest fun, funny and  completely satisfying novel, The Baby Planner. (In stores tomorrow- Tuesday, April 5!) about a thirty-seven-year-old baby planner whose own biological clock is ticking off the charts faster than you can say designer stroller. (Lisa could definitely relate- having her first baby, er, a little later in life.) Synopsis:

Katie Johnson may make her living consulting with new moms on the latest greatest baby gadgets no parent should be without, or which mommy meet-ups are the most socially desirable, or whether melon truly is the new black, but the success of her marriage to her husband, Alex, depends on controlling her own urges toward motherhood.

He's adamant that they stay childless. Sure, Katie understands that he's upset over the fact that his out-of-town ex-wife rarely lets him see their ten-year-old son, Peter. But living vicariously through her anxious clients and her twin sisters' precocious children only makes Katie resent his stance more deeply.

While helping a new client—Seth Harris, a high tech entrepreneur who must raise Sadie, his newborn daughter, as a single parent after the tragic death of his wife in childbirth—maneuver the bittersweet journey from mourning husband and reticent father to loving dad, Katie’s own ideals about love, marriage, and motherhood are put to the test as she learns ones very important lesson about family:  How we nurture is the true nature of love.

Want to win one of five copies of The Baby Planner? Just leave a comment here and we'll randomly select the lucky winners after 6:00 PM, EST on Wednesday, April 6.

CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS: JOSIE BROWN'S BUCKET LIST 1. To own pied–à–terre on the northwest tip of the de l'Isle Saint Louis, an island in the Seine, there in the middle of Paris.

2. To circumnavigate the world in my own private plane, stopping wherever and whenever I want, for however long. (In other words, I may never get back home...)

3. To live long enough to witness world peace. Seriously. I'm no beauty queen, believe me. I just mean this from the bottom of my heart. (Must be the flower child in me who still believes it's possible!)

4. Great skin. Always. Despite a daily dose of sunshine!

5.  To see my own musical of Pride and Prejudice make it to both Broadway and the West End.

To find out more about the fabulous Josie Brown, check out her website and follow her on Facebook. And don't forget to pre-order The Baby Planner!

Thanks, Josie!